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Florida Island Beach Wedding / Sailboat Wedding

FAQ, Policies and Guidelines

Florida Beach Weddings and Sailboat Wedding Packages - Tampa, Clearwater and St. Pete Area

  • IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN A FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE. Click here for a listing of all Florida State Counties. NOT A FLORIDA RESIDENT? As a convenience, NON-FLORIDA residents may apply for a Florida marriage license through Sherry Matthews Consulting. Or you may purchase direct from a Florida County office IN PERSON.

  • Reservations require a 30% non-refundable deposit to secure your day.  If you must RESCHEDULE or POSTPONE your event, your deposit will be applied to your final balance for 6 months only.  After 6 months and 1 day, your deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE. If you cancel a portion of your wedding (photographer, beach BBQ, etc.) there is a 30% cancellation fee.

  • NO PHOTO ID + NO FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE = NO GETTING MARRIED!  Please remember to bring your government issued Photo ID (Passport, Driver's License, Military ID) AND your valid Florida Marriage License. If you do not have these items we cannot legally marry you.  Remember, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OBTAIN A FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE. (Can ya tell we've had this issue before?)

  • You DO NOT need a marriage license to renew your vows or have a commitment ceremony.

  • NO artificial "throwings" of any kind at the bridal couple. Rice causes digestive maladies for seagulls, herons, terns and pelicans. Silk petals and confetti are considered littering. We suggest bubbles or bells.

  • Please do not ask for a dove or butterfly release.  We believe this to be inhumane.  How about we do a human release at a butterfly wedding?

  • Island and Sailboat Weddings: Your wedding cruise is scheduled to depart at a specific time. If you are running late you must call us at 727.859.0213.  Any wedding that has not set sail within 30 minutes of your scheduled time risks the chance of your wedding being cancelled.  You may also experience a shortened cruise should charters be scheduled after you.  Please be prompt.  Sailboats weddings are limited to six (6) total passengers PER BOAT including Bride and Groom. DO NOT ASK US TO PUT MORE THAN 6 PER SAILBOAT.  Larger parties must either book more than one sailboat or additional pontoon boats.

  • Sailboat Weddings: Wear only white soles, non-marking soles or go barefoot! NO HEELS OF ANY TYPE on boats!

  • Note to Bridezillas - If you are looking for a hoity toity gala, please contact the Ritz Carlton at 800-241-3333.

  • If you want your hair to look perfect - choose an indoor event.  Mother Nature doesn't give a crap about your up-do.

For questions about your marriage license not answered below, please contact the Pasco County Government complex at (727) 847 - 2411 or www.pascocountyfl.net.

 

Other stuff you'll want to know:

 

Does Florida require a blood tests?

Is there a waiting period for the marriage license?

What is the fee for getting a marriage license?

Must I have a license from the County you are located in?

Are witnesses required?

How long does everything take?

How many people may I invite on a boat wedding?

We'd like to meet with you before the ceremony.  Is that OK?

Where can I change into my gown or tux?

May I bring bring my own decorations to the beach?

What if it rains on my wedding day? 

May I marry someone of the same gender?

May I write my own vows?

Why must I tip?

I'm really nervous and know I will need "a little something" to get through. Any suggestions?

Who is marrying me?

Is it PROFESSIONAL photography?  How many photos do I get?

Why should we choose Windsong Charters to marry us?

 

 

Q: Does Florida require blood tests?

A: No. Your veins are safe in Florida!

 

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Q: Is there a waiting period for the marriage license?
A: For Floridians ONLY. Effective January 1, 1999, there is a 3-day delay in the effective date of the marriage license if the couple does not participate in a premarital preparation course meeting the requirements specified in law and whose provider is registered with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

 

Non-Florida Residents may obtain their marriage license immediately with NO waiting period.

 

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Q: What is the fee for obtaining a marriage license?
A: For all FLORIDA RESIDENT couples who complete the premarital preparation course, there is a reduction in the licensing fee. 

 

Marriage licenses are around $95.00.  Please contact the specific County Clerk's Office for further information.  WE CANNOT ANSWER QUESTIONS REGARDING MARRIAGE LICENSES!  PLEASE CALL THE COUNTY CLERK!

 

 

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Q: Must I have a license from the County in Florida you are located?

A: No, you may obtain your marriage license from ANY county in the state of Florida.  Click here for a listing of all Florida State Counties. If you are NOT A FLORIDA RESIDENT you may apply for your license through the mail

YOU MUST APPLY FOR YOUR OWN FLORIDA MARRIAGE LICENSE.

 

NO!  You may NOT bring your out of state marriage license to Florida.

 

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Q: Are witnesses required to sign the marriage certificate?
A: No.

 

Although the marriage certificate has spaces for two witnesses to sign, witnesses are not specifically required by law.  The captain, crew or photographer will gladly witness your marriage license.  If it is just the two of you on the beach alone, the license is completely valid without witnesses.

 

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Q: How long does everything take?
A: For a Pontoon Boat Island Beach Wedding, typically about 2 1/2 - 3 hours in total.  The ride to the island is approximately 45 minutes each way.  If you have chosen photos, we will spend time getting the perfect shot of you and any guests before returning to the dock.  It is very simple, beautiful and stress free! 

 

For the Sailboat Only Wedding the proceedings last about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. We depart the marina, sail for a bit, you get married where ever you like on the boat, take photos if you have ordered them, have lots of fun and sail back to the marina.

 

For the Tropical Island Beach BBQ approximately from 6 -7 hours dependent upon the size of your party.  We will depart the marina, sail to a beautiful white sand island, you get married, have the best BBQ of your life, enjoy the island, we take lots of photos of you (if photos are ordered) and then sail back.  Did we mention the part about having the best day of your life??


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Q: How many people may I invite on a boat wedding?
A: If a sailboat wedding or pontoon wedding we are licensed for 6 (six) guests per boat (INCLUDING BRIDE AND GROOM). 

 

We are licensed for SIX (6) passengers only PER BOAT.  Yes, children, whatever age, are considered a passenger according to the Coast Guard. (Basically anything with a heart boat - OK!)  Please DO NOT ask us to take seven (7) or more passengers unless you plan on chartering a another boat.  What will happen if we take more than six passengers? We lose our captain's license FOREVER, lose our occupational and state licensing, the sailboat is impounded by the Coast Guard and we are fined $100,000.  'Nuff said!  Read that again if you think you're special and can sneak on that 7th person without us looking!

 

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Q: We'd like to meet with you before the ceremony.  Is that OK?

A: Can we be frank?  This isn't a $50,000 wedding.  If you'd prefer to meet prior to your wedding we absolutely can accommodate your request.  A rehearsal meeting will be $200.  We have many years of experience planning wonderful beach/boat/island weddings - trust us! 

 

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Q: Where can I change into my gown or tux?
A: All sailboats have staterooms (bedrooms) and private heads (bathrooms). 

 

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Q: May I bring bring my own decorations to the beach?
A: No.

 

As much as we would love to save you money, the county requires liability insurance and permits from all wedding companies and individuals.  You may not bring additional decorations or equipment - no ifs, ands, or buts.  (Their rules not ours!!)  If you want to apply for insurance and additional permitting - go for it! 

 

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Q: What if it rains on my wedding day? 

A: You get wet. 

 

We will do our best to schedule according to the weather.  Some changes in scheduling time may need to occur - but no worries.  We'll work it out.  We ask that, if possible, you please allow for time before and after your desired date.  Flexibility is a must when dealing with Mother Nature. 

 

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Q: May I marry someone of the same gender?

A: Yes and No.  Florida law prohibits same-sex marriages.  However, if you would like a "union ceremony", we are most happy to assist with your special day. 

 

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Q: May I write my own vows?

A: Absolutely!  We encourage it!  Once your deposit is paid, you will be emailed a link with several examples of vows you can mix and match.  Vows MUST be received in our office no later than 2 business days in advance of your wedding.  If we do not receive your vow choice within 2 business days of your ceremony - your officiate will make their own choice.

 

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Q: Why must I tip?

A: It is customary to give those involved (bartender, photographer, officiate, captain, etc.) in making your special day come true a gratuity based on the level of service provided. It is a personal expression of gratitude for service given and appreciated.  Click HERE FOR A GUIDELINE TO GRATUITIES in the industry

Most wedding companies add on a service fee (aka "tip" up to 35%) - Windsong Charters does not believe this is right and does not "cover up" the term or jack up our prices.

Here are some articles to assist in making the right decision for you:

http://www.ourmarriage.com/html/tipping.html

http://www.wedaholic.com/archives/to_tip_or_not_to_tip_gratuities_for_your_wedding_suppliers.php

http://www.cheap-chic-weddings.com/wedding-tipping.html

http://www.findalink.net/tippingetiquette.php

 

Click HERE FOR A GUIDELINE TO GRATUITIES in the industry

 

Just remember, stiffing your captain, especially, is like stiffing your waitress at your favorite restaurant for the best meal you ever had.

 

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Q: I'm really nervous about getting married and know I will need "a little something" to get through. Any suggestions?

A: Legally we cannot perform the marriage ceremony if intoxicated or under the influence of some mind/behavior- altering substance.  Both the bride and groom must appear to be willing participants and mentally capable of entering into the marriage at the time of the ceremony.  We know some great massage therapists if you're interested!  They will even come to you!

 

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Q: Who is marrying me?

A: You have a choice of a commissioned Notary Public appointed by the State of Florida (like a Justice of the Peace) or non-denominational Ordained Minister.  Jet let us know your preference and we are happy to accommodate the special type of service for you. 

 

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Q: Is it PROFESSIONAL photography?

A: We use staff photographers all very well trained in wedding photography and capturing your special day. We use a digital cameral for your photos. No retouching, no editing, just raw photos.  All photos are burned to a CD and mailed within 30 business days of your wedding date.  They are YOURS to do with as you like!   We use a high resolution so you will be very happy with any reprints or enlargements.  Check out our wedding gallery HERE.  Many of our photographers are ether ex-professionals or serious amateurs who have won countless awards.

 

Boat Only weddings average 50 - 100 photos.  Island BBQ weddings average about 150+ photos.  These are only averages based upon how much of a "ham" you are and if you are comfortable in front of the camera.  Some couples average less, some more.  We've NEVER had anyone disappointed in the quality or quantity of photos.

 

You can also order a DVD of your wedding day with all the photos and your choice of music for $50.  To view a sample of the DVD click HERE.

 

We do not offer videography services.  You will need to hire your own independent videographer.  Any independent services count as total number of people.

 

 

 

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Q:  Why should we choose Windsong Charters to marry us?

A:  EASY!  We've compiled a "Top 10" below and a few testimonials!

 

10 - We are a reputable company which has been in business for over 10 years. We take cash or credit / debit cards. Please be wary of companies that ONLY take cash or a check in a personal name, not a business name.

9 - We always allow your friends and family to bring their own camcorders or cameras unlike many other companies who prohibit it. We'll even take pictures with YOUR camera (given we have a free hand at the time).

8 - You ALWAYS know our policies, cancellation policies, guidelines PRIOR to handing down cash - unlike other companies who will only give you the contract AFTER you have given them a non refundable deposit.

7 - Many companies make the bride and groom plan for inclement weather - we already have several locales in case Mother Nature is having a hissy fit that day (additional fees MAY apply for Plan B).

6 - Windsong does NOT add a "Service Fee". Other companies add up to and additional 35% service fee. In layman's terms, a "service fee" is to ensure the officiate, crew and owners get a "tip". Although it is customary to give a gratuity to your officiate and captain, we do not believe in jacking up our prices and "hiding" costs.  If there were others instrumental in making your special day come true, a gratuity is most appreciated.
Click HERE FOR A GUIDELINE TO GRATUITIES in the industry

5 - Windsong Charters does NOT add extra fees for weekends like many other companies do. We believe every day is a day of celebration. Adding an extra charge for popular days may seem contrary to popular belief, but we don't feel right charging up to $300 more just because you choose a Saturday instead of Tuesday. (MAJOR holidays being an exception - hey! We have families too! Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, New Years Eve/Day and possibly the owner's birthday.)

4 - Windsong requests a 30% non - refundable deposit compared to others who require a 50% non-refundable deposit.


3 - Flexibility. It's YOUR wedding. We take every wedding request personally and to heart. You are NOT a number or just another date. You wedding is handled personally by one of our highly skilled professionals to ensure YOUR perfect day.

2 - You choose the services you want for YOUR day. Windsong does not believe in making up "pre-determined, one size fits all, packages" as many other companies do. You choose what you want for your special day! We are happy to work with you on what you want. If our "packages" do not meet your needs we are flexible and will work with you.

1 - Importance. Does the wedding company you have contacted get back to you within a reasonable time period? Do they take several days or weeks to respond? If they get back to you immediately, this is a sign of
professionalism. Your wedding is as important to you as it is to us.


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For questions regarding a marriage license not answered above, please contact the Pasco County Government complex at (727) 847 - 2411 or www.pascocountyfl.net.

 

It's YOUR day - Get married the way YOU want

Phone: 727.859.0213        Email Us

*Packages, Prices and Policies subject to change without notice and according to your attitude!

Rates DO NOT include gratuities.

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